Driving Without Insurance and Car Accidents
Every day, some drivers in Ontario are driving without insurance. For other drivers, this creates a huge risk of being left without sufficient compensation in the event of an accident with an uninsured driver. In an earlier post, we discussed why OPCF-44 Family Protection Coverage is a good idea for any driver that wants to be fully protected in the event of an accident with an unidentified, uninsured or underinsured driver.
Compensation for injured drivers through accident benefits and tort claims
All Ontario motor vehicle insurance policies include no-fault accident benefits coverage, which, depending on the severity of your injuries and any additional protection you purchase, can provide injured parties with money to pay for rehabilitation, income replacement and caregiving. If you are injured, these benefits can often go a long way towards compensating you for your damages. In the event of severe injuries, or where no-fault benefits fall short, injured parties can also advance a claim in negligence against an at-fault driver, and recover the balance of their losses through this claim.
Consequences of driving your own vehicle without insurance
If a vehicle owner drives without insurance and gets involved in an accident, they may be unable to obtain any compensation for their injuries and losses, even if another driver was 100% at fault. Ontario’s Insurance Act precludes anyone that was operating their vehicle without insurance from bringing a civil claim for damages arising from an accident. This law is intended to ensure that every vehicle owner has valid insurance, and that the individuals without insurance do not receive any insurance money when they failed to make any contributions.
If a driver can show that they had a reasonable, good faith belief that their vehicle was insured, they may be able to avoid these consequences. Proving this belief is complicated, and should only be done by a qualified motor vehicle accident lawyer that understands how to build solid evidence for this type of argument. Derfel Injury Law has dedicated lawyers that exclusively practice in the areas of insurance and motor vehicle claims, and we can assist with situations where a driver was not insured, but believed they were.
Insurance is required for all vehicles on public roads
Any vehicle, including off road vehicles like tractors and ATVs, must be fully insured if they are driven on public roads. Even if a driver is simply crossing a highway from one private property to another, they are still required to carry insurance. If an accident occurs on public roadways, drivers of off-road vehicles will be held to the same requirements as other vehicles, and will be prevented from making a personal injury claim. If they are driving without insurance and found at fault, they may also be on the hook personally for any injuries or damages caused.
Experienced car accident lawyers when insurance is an issue
At Derfel Injury Law, our practice is focused on personal injury and motor vehicle accidents. We have handled hundreds of claims where insurance coverage has been an issue, and we know how to advise drivers that have been involved in accidents, whether their vehicle was not insured, or another involved party did not have proper insurance.
Contact us online to make an appointment with one of our lawyers or call 416-847-3580. We can meet with clients at locations in Toronto.